Monday, 7 November 2011

German soccer: Beer rain and broken glass

Time to write about my favourite sport: Soccer.

I have been a huge fan of FC Hansa Rostock, my favourite soccer team, since the age of six. I got introduced to soccer when my uncle took me to the last home game of the season 96/97, when Hansa played powerhouse FC Schalke 04. They lost 1-0 but I was so amazed at the action that went down on the pitch. And it was loud, and I loved it. My dad, who traveled with me and my uncle, got me a hat and a scarf before the game. I still have the same items at home. They traveled thousands of miles with me, to Hansa games all over Germany, and to my new home in Canada.

But since I moved to Canada, I've noticed how some clubs back in Germany, including my beloved Hansa, quickly attracted some of the rowdiest fans out there. Sure, you had to expect some sort of hooliganism sometime, but over time, the rebellion and trouble-making got worse. Whenever a big rivalry came along, so called "fans" threw rocks at each other, called names and chanted preposterous things at each other. Some even caused physical harm.

A few years ago, when a Hansa game was postponed due to bad weather and field conditions, the fans were travelling back home by train, and stopped halfway through in a city. To kill time, they decided to do some damage and smash police cars and set things on fire before heading back on the train. Hansa's management received a fine in the thousands and their fans were prohibited to travel with the team to the next few road games.

When I read the news on these events, I could only hold my head in shame. The beauty of soccer received a cut on the cheek that day. Sometimes, it makes me wonder if I should still be a fan of my team. It's silly to think that way, but when so-called "fans" of my team wreck cars and break windows, and are NOT stopping, then I start to feel really ashamed about being a fan. Our entire reputation as a fan base is damaged. That's how society works. Once somebody does something stupid, everyone else is affected.

You have to wonder why they do these things. It's simple: politics. Hooligans like to settle their political differences through violence, so it seems. Since Germany's reunification in 1990, the difference between east and west has increased. The east has struggled to get their economy going, while the west has been booming. A large population of the east moved to the west for a better life, with few west Germans heading east.

When it comes to soccer, hooligans of eastern teams love to do riots against fellow other eastern teams, or western teams. They accuse the west for being unfair and taking away opportunities and jobs, and criticize capitalism. Hooligans of western teams, on the other hand, point fingers at the east for still being communists. I don't exactly know why these riots happen, but I've seen so many interviews where fans accuse the others on political levels.

I've just had enough of "fans" bashing others for their political views. Politics doesn't belong in sports. They are two separate things. Stop smashing glass, and scream at the referee, or do other stuff that doesn't damage property or people's lives.

Less this: 

More this: 

Alles fuer den FCH! Keep my sport beautiful, not violent. 

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